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City Hall announces plans to keep London charging ahead with electric vehicle infrastructure

  • Two contracts for a further 51 sites for rapid charge points have now been signed and awarded to charge point operator Zest.
  • City Hall and Places for London – TfL’s property company – bring forward sites for five new ultra-rapid charging hubs capable of charging electric vehicles in between 10-30 minutes
  • London now hosts more than 18,000 electric vehicle charge points, over one third of the UK’s total and a four-fold increase since 2019
  • New report also reveals that electric car registrations in London are outpacing the rest of the UK, driving a cleaner, greener and healthier future for London

Five new ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging hub sites will be offered to the market across London, as a new report reveals that electric car registrations in the capital are outpacing the rest of the UK, helping to clean up London’s air and bring down harmful exhaust emissions.

In a keynote speech today at the London EV Show, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, announced that land for the five new electric vehicle charging hubs has now been opened to the market. Places for London, Transport for London (TfL)’s property company, is seeking a partner to deliver all five sites via a joint venture partnership. This tender will unlock TfL land to help create a greener and more connected London for everyone, generating long-term revenue, which can then be reinvested back into the transport network

The ultra-rapid charging hubs will be located in Hanger Lane, Canning Town, Hillingdon Circus, Hatton Cross and Tottenham Hale. Hubs, which will include at least six ultra-rapid charging bays, will allow drivers to charge their vehicles in 10-30 minutes, and will include at least one bay for those with accessibility needs. The hubs will support high-mileage drivers such as taxis, private hire vehicles, delivery drivers, sole traders, and local businesses to switch to electric vehicles. Hanger Lane in Ealing will host the largest site, with up to 20 rapid charging bays and retail facilities.

The Deputy Mayor also announced that two contracts for a further 51 sites for rapid charge points have now been signed and awarded to charge point operator Zest. These sites are being delivered as part of the Mayor’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Delivery (EVID) project, which now has contracts with Zest. in place to deliver over 100 rapid charging bays on the TfL road network. Installation of the EVID charge points will begin in early 2024.

The new sites will add to London’s expanding network of more than 18,000 publicly accessible charge points, of which 1,000 are rapid or ultra-rapid.[iv] This is over one third of the UK’s total public charging network, and a four-fold increase from 2019. London is on track to deliver its expected requirement of 40,000 to 60,000 charge points by 2030, with 4,000 being rapid charge points.

New data also reveals that new electric car registrations in London have outpaced the rest of the UK and diesel car registrations have declined sharply since 2018, helping to drive a cleaner, greener, and healthier future for London.

The Electric Vehicle Uptake in the UK and London report prepared by researchers with Air Quality Consultants reveals that the proportion of new electric cars registered in London has surged from 1.3 per cent of all new car registrations in 2018 to 23.2 per cent in 2022 - an average growth rate of 5.5 per cent per year. Growth was even more impressive in inner London, skyrocketing from two per cent in 2018 to 35.5 per cent in 2022, an average rate of 8.4 per cent per year. This is compared to 0.6 to 15.8 per cent in the rest of the UK over the same period, an average rate of just 3.8 per cent per year.

The uptake in electric cars has also been far faster in London than other cities in the UK, including Bristol (where there has been an average growth rate of 2.9 per cent per year), Sheffield (2.5 per cent), Birmingham (2 per cent), and Manchester (1.8 per cent), according to the report.

Meanwhile, registrations of diesel cars, which are a major contributor to air pollution, have decreased significantly in London. Diesel car registrations peaked in 2016 at 38.6 per cent of new registrations, then sharply plunged to 4.6 per cent in 2022. The report explains that this was likely due to wider public awareness of the toxic pollution produced by diesel vehicles, as well as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

These figures underscore the resounding success of the Mayor’s air quality and green transport policies in driving Londoners leave behind their older, more polluting vehicles and switch to cleaner models, including electric vehicles. Since the ULEZ expanded to cover all London boroughs on 29 August, creating the world’s largest clean air zone, 95 per cent of vehicles seen driving in London on an average day now meet the ULEZ emission standards, up from just 39 per cent in 2017. Thanks to the Mayor’s leadership, London now has the largest electric vehicle charging network in the UK, and with commitments outlined today to add new charge points to the network, TfL are setting the capital on track for a greener future.

Seb Dance, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “The wheels of change are turning on London’s streets - and they're electric. Londoners are charging ahead with electric vehicles, registering new electric cars at a far greater rate than the rest of the UK.
“London is leading by example, with over a third of all charge points in the UK installed in our city so far. The joint venture for ultra-rapid charging hubs announced today will make it even easier and more convenient for Londoners and local businesses to switch to electric vehicles. This will help build a better London for everyone—a city that is cleaner, greener, and healthier for all.”
Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Transport for London, said: “The joint venture for ultra-rapid charging hubs announced today are with five initial sites is another boost towards achieving the Mayor's commitment of Net Zero carbon in London by 2030. Easier access to rapid and ultra-rapid charging infrastructure remains central to supporting the boom in electric vehicle registrations across the capital and has a crucial role to play in cleaning up London's toxic air and tackling climate change.
"The Mayor’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Delivery (EVID) project will bring more than 100 new charging bays to the capital by making public land available, enabling the market to deliver this essential infrastructure. We are pleased to have awarded two further contracts as part of our EVID work to Zest. Zest is helping us bring more charging points to London's drivers, giving them the confidence that wherever they travel in this city, a place to plug in will never be far away.”
Robin Heap, CEO of Zest said “Zest is investing in rapid charging infrastructure that will serve Londoners for decades.  We are proud to be part of The Mayor’s EVID project as it prepares the capital for the exponential growth in electric vehicles and delivers on decarbonisation and air quality. We provide what people want - a convenient and reliable charging service built to last.”
Shariq AbdulHai, CEO of The London EV Show said: “I’m proud of the huge impact the London EV Show has made in accelerating the EV adoption across the UK over the last 3 years and positioning itself as a catalyst towards the vision of a net zero carbon London.  
Furthermore, AbdulHai expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the participants - including London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, alongside Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Sponsors, and Partners - for their invaluable presence at the London EV Show. “With over 220+ exhibitors, 150 dynamic speakers, and the involvement of 4000+ companies, alongside the significant participation of ministries and government officials from prestigious organisations like the Greater London Authority, Welsh Government, The Ministry of Transport - Norway, and Transport for London’s commercial property company - Places for London,  the London EV Show is set to reaffirm its standing as the UK's premier EV expo and conference,” he added.

Read the full announcement from City Hall here.